Healing

Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.
Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.

It has been slightly more than 3 weeks since I had my surgery on 22 September 2016. Things are going well, and I am recovering better than I had expected.

I still have a little chest discomfort when I exert myself, such as when I reach for something, or when I try to carry something. So, I have to be careful when I do so.

I can’t carry a 2kg watermelon, for example. It would be too much of an exertion. My chest also hurts when I sneeze. I particularly hate sneezing now cos it feels like your heart is being squeeze rather tightly whenever I do.

But other than this, I am fine. Continue reading “Healing”

The friends who helped me finally quit smoking

smoking

Picking up smoking was the worst decision I have ever made in my life.

Perhaps it was youth, or ignorance, or just plain stupidity. I still remember the first few days when I tried out smoking. I had been in the military, doing my National Service in the second year. I was by then a non-commissioned officer (NCO), and had a little authority and more freedom than those under my charge.

I was 19 or 20 then.

We NCOs had this room in the same building as our living quarters where we could hang out, watch TV, and such. I remember, one day, asking my friend for a cigarette, seeing that not a few of them were smoking. The friend obliged and passed me one. I recall I didn’t like the first few draws I made of the cigarette. Continue reading “The friends who helped me finally quit smoking”

“They will come at 6am to prepare you.”

“They will come at 6am to prepare you,” the night nurse told me. Mine would be among the first surgeries of the day.

Dinner the night before
Dinner the night before

It was a sense of relief to hear that because it meant I would finally be going through with the surgery, and that there is very little more I need to do. But later, that relief also turned to anxiety and fear, feelings which I knew I would have as the day drew nearer, although at the same time I had also been looking forward to the event.

And the next morning, just like clockwork, the nurses came into my ward and told me, “Mr Loh, we will have to prepare you.”

I looked at the clock and it was 6am.

I hadn’t slept much the night before. I kept running the whole operation through my mind, just to calm myself. I had had some last-minute nervous thoughts. Continue reading ““They will come at 6am to prepare you.””

Pre-op

Eating healthy to prepare for op
Eating healthy to prepare for op

It is 3 days to my coronary artery bypass graft (CABG – pronounced “cabbage”) surgery on 22 September. There are several things which I have to do to prepare for this.

The first is to stop taking anti-coagulent medication. In my case, this would be the drug called plavix. Doc wanted me to be on aspirin but as it turned out, I am allergic to that drug. (I am also allergic to naproxen, another painkiller.) So, plavix was recommended instead.

Here, I would like to explain that it is very important that you note your allergies. So that in time such as this, you are able to tell your doc straight away about them.

When they asked me for my allergies, all I could say was Synflex, which I later found out was known as naproxen, its medical name. When they asked if I was also allergic to aspirin, which I am told is a “cousin” of naproxen, I was unable to say for sure since I had not taken aspirin for a very very long time. Continue reading “Pre-op”

Triple bypass

Being wheeled into op room for angiogram
Being wheeled into op room for angiogram

It didn’t really hit me as shocking news. Ok, maybe a little. Actually, what I felt, when the news was relayed to me, was, “Ok, so how do we deal with this?”

It was bad news, of course.

A week earlier, on 6 September, I kept an appointment with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), for an Electrocardiogram (ECG). I had been feeling chest pains whenever I walked briskly, or when I jogged and swam. In fact, the symptoms had been there for more than a year. I just brushed them off as perhaps I hadn’t slept well the night before and thus was somehow physically weak.

I had taken comfort that after the initial first 20 to 30 mins of jogging or swimming, where I had to pause every short distance, I was able to continue exercising without feeling any pain in the chest.

So, I ignored the symptoms.

Then one night, while sitting in bed reading, I felt a shortness of breath. Continue reading “Triple bypass”

Who is this Lee Kuan Yew that I do not know?

The real Lee Kuan Yew
The real Lee Kuan Yew

So, it has finally been said – do not hero worship Lee Kuan Yew. The man himself would “cringe” at the blind adoration. So says his daughter, Lee Wei Ling, in a Facebook post on 25 March. (See here.)

The month-long bending of knees and bowing of heads among the Lee faithful have been amusing to me.

The praises levelled at the man verged on hysteria and the hysterically laughable, with some clearly delusional worshippers even witnessing the late Lee’s face in the clouds on his death anniversary.

And one art display of the man was titled “Our Father, Our Country, Our Flag”.

It was a well-meaning effort but it made me wince,” Ms Lee said.

That’s a very expressive word to use – “wince”.

The dictionary defines it as: “a slight grimace or shrinking movement caused by pain or distress”.

Pain, or distress. Continue reading “Who is this Lee Kuan Yew that I do not know?”

Being a (superhuman) blogger

super-hero-blogger

This is not going to be a proper blog post in that I’d put too much thought into it. I am just going to write what is in my head regarding this. So, here goes.

I was just pondering on the 7 years or so which I have been blogging. And I observe how even back then – in 2006 – bloggers were already being criticised and smeared, both by the government and the government-controlled mainstream media. This is by now a well-known fact.

What is also interesting to note is how expectations of bloggers have changed throughout these years. Well, some expectations have changed while others haven’t. And by ‘expectations’, I mean those from the government.

I remember back in 2005/2006, the main criticism was that bloggers were anonymous. And indeed, many and most were. This gave the government and the mainstream media the opportunity to try and discredit bloggers based on this. Oh, you’re anonymous, and thus you’re not credible.  Continue reading “Being a (superhuman) blogger”